Guy Benson
On Monday I warned about the distinct possibility that Wisconsin conservatives, still fighting a post-victory hangover, are being badly outmaneuvered by the Left.  Now Michael Barone is worried about the same thing, asking "Is the Tea Party pooped?"

In the state that has made more headlines than any other this year, Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is facing some headwinds. He did get the Republican legislature to pass limits on the bargaining powers of state employee unions. And union dues aren't going to be deducted from public employees' next paychecks.

But the Democratic state senators' tactic of leaving the state and the often violent protests at the state capitol have mobilized public employee unions and their supporters.

...The IWV poll says that voters would oppose recalling Democratic state senators by 60 to 38 percent but oppose recalling Republicans by only 52 to 43 percent.

There's an assumption by many Republicans, seemingly shared by Walker, that voters settled these issues definitively in the November elections. But the IWV poll suggests that voters are not necessarily well-informed and have been swayed by those who frame the issue as collective bargaining "rights."

Respondents become more favorable to Walker's position when informed that public employees are paid 45 percent more than private-sector union members and that union dues have been automatically deducted and go to support candidates workers may not favor.

...The press won't make that case. Republicans and Tea Partiers need to do it themselves.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Democratic Party has raised $1.4 million in the last seven weeks, about $250,000 more than they raised in all of 2010 -- an election year:

A report filed Monday says the DPW raised $1.4 million in contributions from February 1 to March 21. That’s about $250,000 more than it raised in 2010.

The Democrats have been fundraising aggressively to support efforts to recall eight Republican state senators who voted for GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair law, which takes away most collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Between the well-funded recall efforts and the sleazy scorched earth campaign being waged against a conservative judge up for re-election next week, the Left is playing for keeps while many conservatives snooze.  Republicans may not quite appreciate the scope of the machinations they're up against.  This fight ain't over, and, as usual, the Left is playing for keeps

Care to join them?


UPDATE (via Allahpundit):  Mark Levin interviewed Judge Prosser on his radio program last night.  To get an handle on the stakes in Wisconsin, give it a listen. 

If you're moved to proffer financial assistance to Prosser's campaign, click through here.


UPDATE II: National Review editorializes in favor of Prosser's retention.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography